Senior U.S. Department of Commerce Official Visits TCC and Makes Workforce Development Announcement

July 19, 2019

officials with check U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Dr. John Fleming announced today that Tallahassee Community College (TCC) is receiving a $1.2 million grant to support the Welding Technologies Laboratory (WTL). The WTL project will provide a state-of-the-art “hands-on lab” for students taking welding courses at the College’s Kim B. Williams Advanced Manufacturing Training Center (AMTC) on TCC’s main campus in Tallahassee. The project includes the renovation of nearly 6,000 square feet of shell space at the AMTC. More than 100 students have participated in the program since Fall 2015. The funding is expected to impact the College’s region of Leon, Gadsden, Wakulla counties and beyond.

“Tallahassee Community College’s new Welding Technologies Laboratory will help the region’s businesses compete by providing a state-of-the-art facility that will help train students for in-demand jobs,” said U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Dr. John Fleming. “Additionally, the project’s location in a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Opportunity Zone will help attract additional investment through special tax incentives.”

The WTL will allow TCC to create a day-time Career and Technical Certificate (CTC) Welding Technology program, a night CTC Advanced Welding Technology program, and as needed, a stationary American Welding Society (AWS) certified assessment center for CTC students, employees and employers.

“This grant will expand our capacity to provide more individuals with the opportunity to pursue a high-demand career while also addressing our region's increased need for industry professionals due to the hurricane damage,” said Jim Murdaugh, TCC President. “TCC is proud to play our part in ensuring our local talent meets the needs of our community."

The U.S. Department of Labor lists Welding as an occupational area that has a “bright outlook” with a projection of 128,000 job openings through 2024. Statewide, there are an estimated 2,000 welding vacancies paying an average salary of $43,410. More than 50 percent of U.S. products require welding.

“Creating opportunities through collaboration at the national, state and local level has served as the hallmark of TCC in carrying out its mission of developing a highly skilled workforce, prepared to address the needs of business on Day 1,” said Kimberly A. Moore, Vice President for Workforce Innovation and TCC2WORK. “The partnership with the Economic Development Administration highlights the value and commitment that we place in making sure that our community wins, our students win and businesses win. TCC will not rest until everyone that wants a job, has a job at a wage that they can take care of their families.”

Dr. Fleming with TCC Officials and grant checkRegional employers are looking forward to the new training facility at TCC.

“As a construction company that’s been around for some time we are known for our quality workmanship and for meeting deadlines,” said Heath Annin, President, Ram Construction in Midway, Fla. “However, we are only able to accomplish this by having a workforce that has the knowledge and abilities to perform at the highest level. As a result, we are proud to work alongside TCC as they expand their workforce footprint through the creation of a state-of-the-art welding facility and program that will ensure that the needs of my business and other businesses across the region and state are met.”

Apprenticeship companies also commend the creation of WTL and continued business partnerships with the College.

“Since 1901 the Jacksonville Plumbers & Pipefitters Joint Apprenticeship &Training Trust (JATT) has led the way in developing a workforce ready and able to meet the needs of the industry,” said Kirk Barras, Training Director, JATT. “With a footprint in over 30 counties in Florida, we understand that the life’s breath of our existence is continuously developing a talent pipeline which is further evidenced through our partnership and support of TCC as they launch their state-of the-art welding program and facilities.”

For more information, contact Kim Moore at (850) 201-8760 or mooreki@tcc.fl.edu.